Meet Our Peer Tutors!
The Writing and Communication Centre's one-to-one tutor appointments are one of, if not our most, impressive and well-received student-oriented services. Every day the WCC receives messages from undergraduate and graduate students detailing how much they enjoyed meeting with our tutors and how much they appreciated their help. From cover letters to theses, our tutors are always prepared to provide you with high quality guidance on your work. With this in mind, the WCC would like to introduce a few of our fantastic tutors and share some of their thoughts with you!
Veronica is one of our wonderful graduate peer tutors here at the Writing and Communication Centre.
She is typically available for virtual appointments on Thursdays and Fridays, but also helps out with our email tutoring when she can.
What is the best part about being a peer tutor?
"My favorite part about being a tutor is recognizing the effort people have already put into their work. Many students come to us expecting criticisms, which makes sense because we are here to support with feedback. It does, however, seem like people have trouble acknowledging how creative, insightful, and well put their ideas are. I wish for students to hear those things more often, so I say it when I can. It does genuinely bring me joy to see them feel acknowledged and heard in their writing".
What has been your most memorable moment in a session so far?
"I recall a particularly memorable moment with a student when we were working on brainstorming for a scholarship personal statement. They were tasked with describing their qualifications and had already done a fantastic job of listing their applicable experiences. The difficult part was expanding further on their accomplishments, but we had a really satisfying breakthrough after using the STAR method to further discuss the situations, assigned tasks, actions and results. Our session ended on a really reassuring note and I can tell that we were both feeling rather optimistic about their application at the end of it".
What university-level resources do you think are essential for students?
"I think a really helpful resource for students is Academic Phrasebank which provides example sentence structures for when you need help to formulating a thought. https://www.phrasebank.manchester.ac.uk/
I also recommend students take a look at the WCC resources on organization for better clarity since that comes up a lot in my sessions. https://uwaterloo.ca/writing-and-communication-centre/services-0/online-resources/wcc-resources
Lastly, ProWritingAid (there’s a free version) does a fantastic job of helping with grammar, sentence structure, and clarity. It not only offers suggestions but explains why one may consider making changes so that writers can continue to learn and improve while editing! https://app.prowritingaid.com/?redirectToDocs=true".
Next up is Sarah, who is one of our Arts First peer tutors!
Sarah is available to Arts First students for both in-person and virtual sessions on-and-off throughout each week.
What was it about being a tutor that interested you?
"I have always been very passionate about helping my peers with their writing assignments and assisting others in their learning experiences in general. When I heard about the opportunity to work as a peer tutor for the WCC, I was very excited to apply and further develop that passion in a professional setting".
What has been your best breakthrough moment with a student so far?
"I can recall many breakthrough moments that I’ve had with students in my role as an Arts First Peer Tutor. I would say that the most rewarding instances in tutoring sessions are when my peers have those “ah-ha” moments, which can be anything from gaining an understanding of the assignment, to coming up with an interesting topic to write about, to creating an effective thesis".
What do you think are our most helpful undergraduate student resources?
"I would say that the online WCC resources as well as the drop-in tutoring sessions offered by the WCC are two really useful resources for all students. The online resources are super helpful to refer to when any questions about writing pop up while working on assignments. Attending drop-in tutoring sessions is another really wonderful way to develop confidence in your writing and communication skills. I know that I have made use of these resources throughout my undergraduate degree, and they are always very helpful".
Say Hello to Kelsey!
Last but certainly not least is our undergraduate peer tutor, Kelsey!
Kelsey is available to meet with students virtually on Mondays and can also be found participating in our email tutoring service on Thursdays.
Why did you want to become a tutor?
"I wanted to become a tutor to help others improve their writing skills! Writing is a hobby I've had for quite a while, and I can definitely appreciate how difficult it is to get into it. Communication in any field is incredibly important, but written communication is often something people struggle with or just dislike! Unfortunately, what I've found is that because of this, many people feel like writing is really difficult or really daunting. It's my goal as a writing tutor to remove these negative feelings around writing and help my peers find strategies to help them succeed".
What has been your best moment with a student so far?
"My best moment with a student happened quite recently. I met with a very passionate student to help them work on a scholarship application. Their writing was very sound and required only a few minor suggestions, but what made this session special was the stories that the student was telling me. This particular student was very involved, both on and off campus, in initiatives aimed at helping older adults suffering from various forms of dementia. As somebody whose life has been affected by dementia, I was incredibly touched by all the amazing work they were doing. I was really grateful that I was given the opportunity to chat with and help this person to support their future. Even though I did not do any major tutoring for this student, I helped give them more confidence in their application before submitting it".
What WCC resources do you think students should look at?
"I have had the pleasure of meeting many first years with many questions about academic writing. For those in science-based majors, I would definitely recommend checking out some of the writing center's resources on starting assignments, citations, and their workshops on lab reports as well! An essential resource that I've been recommending to a lot of students has been the starting and understanding assignment resources that you can find on the writing center's website. Many of their resources for getting started on an assignment are incredibly useful to help organize your time and ideas to get the grade you want".
We hope that these short answers provided you with a chance to get to know our peer tutors a bit better, and why we at the WCC believe they're the best!
If you would like to meet with one of these tutors or with one of our other equally professional and friendly tutors, all you need to do is book an appointment with them through our online booking system, WCOnline. As always, our tutoring appointments and other services remain open to students for free!
Link to WCOnline: University of Waterloo Writing and Communication Centre (mywconline.com)